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Smackover turned their attention to offense during their practice on Thursday with their running game being a key focal point.

“A lot of offensive stuff,” Smackover coach Brian Brown said of his team’s practice. “We did some punt team and just really worked on our run game since we did a lot of throwing during the summer. A lot of inside run.”

Special teams has also been a high priority for Brown during the first week of practice.

“When you’re playing in a game, obviously turnovers, everybody talks about that, but the kickoff team and the punt team in high school football are so important because of the field position,” Brown said.

“High school teams are more apt to go for it on their own side of the 50 and even when they get to the 50, almost all of them will, so if you don’t pin them back there, then you may only play one first down before they go for it on fourth down.

“You’re playing in four-down territory when they get across the 50, so the field position is vital for us. We really spend a lot of time on our kickoff and punt teams.”

Thursday marked the second day teams can wear helmets and shoulder pads, and Brown said the Bucks did some hitting.

“We were able to hit some,” Brown said. “We did some drills outside the goal line with the D-line. We got a full practice in, and really saw some good things from some of the guys.”

After working on offense Thursday, Brown said the Bucks will work more on defense Friday.

“We’ll start out with some kicking game, and then we’ll get inside to try and keep our field fresh,” Brown said.

“We’ll start out with defense, we’ll do some inside run and some 7-on-7. We’ll come together and do a little bit of team, but not a whole lot. Then we’ll switch it over and do some punt and go into offense. Offense will be a little bit shorter since we went a little overboard today. We’ll do the same thing on offense. We’ll do individual time, get some inside run, do some 7-on-7 and then we’ll do some team stuff at the end.”

After catching 45 passes for 776 yards with 12 touchdowns as a junior, the Bucks will be counting on Jaqueze Modica to have a big senior year, and Brown said he was one of several players who has stood out early on in camp.

“I think Jaqueze Modica being a senior has come in. You’ve got Dexter Crockett, Dawson Biggers, some of those guys,” Brown said. “Our offensive line was really good last year, but I think those guys have come in with a different attitude. They’ve really taken over the senior leadership and they’re ready to show what they can do.”

As the Bucks get ready to close out their first week, Brown said he is happy with where things stand.

“I think we’re ahead,” Brown said. “I like what we’re doing. We’ll be a different team than we were last year. I think we’ll run the ball more in different ways.

“I think we’ll still throw the ball probably as much as anybody else, but I like where our guys are. I think we’ve had some really good practices starting off.”

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